Ocado shareholders revolt against CEO’s £54m bonus

Ocado’s shareholders yesterday revolted against “excessive” pay rises for its executives, including a £54 million bonus for its chief executive.

The online grocer’s shareholders expressed their opposition to an £88 million bonus pay out for its top executives during its annual general meeting (AGM) yesterday.

Nearly 30 per cent of shareholders, including US investment giant BlackRock and UK investment firm Royal London, voted against the pay-out marking a six per cent rise from a year earlier.

Another fifth of shareholders voted against the reappointment of Ocado’s renumeration committee chair, Andrew Harrison.

READ MORE: Ocado sees revenues nearly quadruple in Q2 as it delivers “more groceries than ever before”

According to BlackRock, which voted against the renumeration report and the re-election of the entire renumeration committee, the incentive plans were: “subject to a single performance metric that only measured management’s performance indirectly”.

“It was also designed to target an outcome that the executives — as significant shareholders themselves — were already incentivised to achieve”.

Royal London added that it though the rewards had become “excessive”.

In response Ocado’s committee argued that the same amount was paid out to managers last year and it did “not believe that there is a basis on which to seek to change the outcome”.

It added: “In addition, the committee continues to believe that the salary rises to the executive directors were fair and reflected the substantial change in the complexity of their roles”.

This came after Ocado reported a 40 per cent surge on revenues over the last quarter, driven by the unprecedented demand for online grocery orders amid the national lockdown.

Despite this many customers have been critical of Ocado’s handling of this spike in demand, which has left many long time customers with little or no access to delivery slots.

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